The Cecidosidae (including Ridiaschinidae) is a small family (18 species) of primarily gall-forming moths restricted to the southern Hemisphere. Four genera (Cecidoses - 1 sp., Dicranoses (= Ridiaschinia) - 2 sp., Eucecidoses - 1 sp., and Oliera - 1 sp.) have been described from southern South America, one genus (Scyrothis (= Lipopseustis, Ptisanora, Sapheneustis) - 12 sp.) from South Africa, and the monotypic genus Xanadoses from New Zealand. Except for two gall-producing species of Prodoxidae (*Lampronia fuscatella* and possibly *Prodoxus y-inversus*), the Cecidosidae are the only Incurvarioidea with this habit. Together with the Prodoxinae, Cecidosidae are the only incurvarioids to have adapted to arid and semiarid environments.
Ethiopian, Neotropical, Australian
Geographic Range description:
The restriction of the Cecidosidae to the southern hemisphere represents a Gondwana distribution. Their minimal age, based on the final separation of Africa from South America has been estmated to date to before the early Cretaceous, approximately 97-113 mya (Mey 2007).
brownish-yellow to dark brown
Description of egg morphology:
Oval, up to 0,3mm in length; chorion relatively hard, up to 0.023 μm thick, brownish-yellow to dark brown; micropyle subapical, finely reticulate, with reticulations enlarging toward periphery and gradually dissipating. (Known only for Cecidoses, Wille 1926).
Larval head description:
Head prognathous, with most structures reduced, lightly sclerotized, light brown; stemmata absent.
Body setae on verrucae:
Body setae on chalazae:
Body setae on scoli:
Larval body description:
Body of varying shades of greenish-yellow; length up to 11 mm. Body setae often reduced in length, sometimes with numerous secondary setae.
Larval thorax description:
Thoracic legs reduced to circular, minute, unsegmented tubercules.
Pairs of thoracic legs:
Pairs of abdominal legs:
Pairs of crochets per proleg:
Crochet arrangement description:
Prolegs and crochets absent.
Anal comb on A10:
Maximum length 11 mm. Head with cocoon cutter variable, reduced to a small acute spine or enlarged as a truncate, transversed ridge or a 3-5-lobed process. Antennae moderately long, as long as wings. Wings extending to A8 or beyond. Tergal spines on A2-8, either in a single row or 2-3 irregular rows; segments 2-8 movable in male, A2-7 in female.
Pupal tergal spines:
Spines as modified cremaster:
Number of rows of tergal spines:
from 1 to 3
Adult Abdomen Morphology
Female genitalia description:
Apex of oviscape compressed, often sagittate, ventral ridge with or without minute serrations. Apophyses short, less than A7 in length. Spermatheca without lateral lagena; caudal part of ductus spermathecae not coiled. Vestibulum without sclerotized structures; ductus and corpus bursae membranous, signa absent.
Female pregenital sexual scales:
Female oviduct opening:
Male pregenital sexual scales:
Male genitalia description:
Uncus usually shallowly bilobed, deeply bilobed in Dicranoses. Socii large. Valva slender, long, with an elongated, sessil pectinifer along ventral margin at about half length of valva or with a prominent swollen setose lobe along ventral margin. Vinculum Y-shaped. Aedoeagus simple, slender and tubular; cornuti absent. Juxta elongate, slender, usually with caudal 0.2-0.3 deeply divided and partially encircling aedoeagus.
Sternum 5 gland:
Adult abdomen description:
Sternum 2a with broad, U-shaped caudal rim; tergosternal connection absent. S7 of female with caudal margin rounded.
phallotheca and aedeagus (phallus)
Adult Thorax Morphology
Adult thorax description:
Anterior arms of laterocervical sclerites long and slender. Metafurca with slender, elongate dorsal apophyses free from secondary arms.
Number of tibial spurs foreleg:
Number of tibial spurs midleg:
Number of tibial spurs hindleg:
from 2 to 4
Legs with spurs 0-2-4, 0-2-3, or 0-2-2; epiphysis present in most genera, absent in Dicranoses. Dicranoses possessing an atypical spur pattern of 0-2-3, with basal most spurs on hindleg consisting of only a single, unpaired spur.
Forewing length from base of forewing to the apex (mm):
from 3.5 to 13
Forewing cell veins:
Forewing anal vein notation:
Forewing basal loop:
Number of Rs veins in forewing:
from 2 to 4
Number of M veins in forewing:
from 1 to 3
Forewing upper surface with microtrichia:
Hindwing anal vein notation:
Hindwing cell vein:
Number of Rs veins in hindwing:
Number of M veins in hindwing:
from 1 to 3
spines (with reticulatum?)
Wing coupling description:
Frenular bristles absent in both sexes; wing coupling consisting of long frenular scales arising in two to five irregular rows near base of costa.
Forewings broad to slender, L/W index 0.30-0.32; microtrichia usually present, reduced in some genera; retinaculum absent.
Hindwing nearly equal to forewing in width, more lanceolate in Dicranoses.
Adult Head Morphology
Number of labial palp segments:
from 0 to 3
Labial palpus modification:
Labial palpi 3-segmented or absent,without apical pit or lateral bristles.
Number of maxillary palp segments:
from 0 to 3
Number of chaetosomata:
present, absent, reduced
Galea (proboscis) usually greatly reduced to minute setose lobes or absent. but moderately well developed in *Scyrotis*.
Head vertex scaling:
Female scape description:
Scape smooth except for dense pecten
Female flagellomere description:
Flagellum filiform, apparently 2 scale rows per segment but actually with slender scales scattered only over dorsal half; ventral half with elongate sensilla ca. 1.5 the length of flagellomere
Male scape description:
Scape smooth except for dense pecten
Male flagellomere description:
Similar to female
Antennal sensillum present
General antennae description:
Antennae short, 0.5-0.6 length of forewing; scape smooth except for dense pecten; flagellum filiform, apparently 2 scale rows per segment but actually with slender scales scattered only over dorsal half; ventral half with elongate sensilla ca. 1.5 the length of flagellomere.
Adult head description:
Vestiture moderately smooth, with elongate, slender, lamellar scales mostly curved forward to smooth frons; all body scales piliform in *Dicranoses*. Eyes large, interocular index 0.7-l.l. Antennae short, 0.5-0.6 length of forewing; scape smooth except for dense pecten; flagellum filiform, apparently 2 scale rows per segment but actually with slender scales scattered only over dorsal half; ventral half with elongate sensilla ca. 1.5 the length of flagellomere. Labrum greatly reduced. Pilifers absent. All mouthparts absent in *Dicranoses*. Mandible reduced to minute, sclerotized stubs or absent. Galea (proboscis) usually greatly reduced to minute setose lobes or absent. but moderately well developed in *Scyrotis*. Maxillary palpi 0-3-segmented, reduced to a minute, unsegmented lobe from vestigial galea (Fig. 6.9 B) in *Cecidoses*; labial palpi 3-segmented or absent,without apical pit or lateral bristles.
Gall producing larval stage
Life History and Behavior
The larvae of all species are univoltine and cecidogenic, developing within galls on Rhus and Schinus (Anacardiaceae). Galls (pyxidiocecidea) of the South American Cecidoses and Eucecidoses develop as hard, thick-walled, sessile spheres up to 18 mm in diameter on the woody, terminal branches of Schinus (Brèthes 1916, Curtis 1835, Wille 1926, Mani 1964). Pyxidial galls are characterized by the presence of a cap-like covering, or operculum - the formation of which is sometimes unclear. In Cecidoses, operculum formation is largely independant of larval development. Past a certain developmental stage, the operculum forms even after the young larva dies or is surgically removed (Wille 1926). Prior to emergence, the pharate adult easily forces open the operculum and exits. Oliera and Dicranoses form colonies of much smaller, elliptical to spindle-shaped galls enclosed within swollen stems of Schinus (Brèthes 1916, Keiffer & Jörgensen 1910). Stems containing Dicranoses eventually rupture, exposing the galls inside. The larvae of the South African Scyrotis form similar galls on Rhus, except their galls eventually dehisce and fall to the ground. While on the ground and probably as a means of avoiding excessive heat from the sun, the very active pupa is capable of propelling the gall for distances of up to 30 cm (Meyrick 1909, 1917). Because of this unusual habit, the galls of this species have been referred to locally as "jumping beans". Jumping galls have also been reported from other insect orders (Mani 1964). Wille (1926) reports 7 larval instars for Cecidoses.
Life History: Immature Stages
Pupation inside gall.
Larval food items include:
Larval food habits description:
Evolution and Systematics
Systematic and taxonomic history
Early reports associated Cecidosidae with either Tortricidae or Tineidae (Curtis 1835, Brèthes 1916). 1. Biezanko (1961, actually Forbes in litt.) and later Becker (1977) were the first to note the family's true affinities with the Incurvarioidea.
No fossil record reported.
Cecidosidae is a little-known family of primitive monotrysian moths in the order Lepidoptera which have a piercing ovipositor used for laying eggs in plant tissue in which they induce galls, or they mine in bark (Davis, 1999; Hoare and Dugdale, 2003). Nine species occur in southern Africa, five species in South America (Parra, 1998) and Xanadoses nielseni was recently described from New Zealand (Hoare and Dugdale, 2003). Some minute parasitoid wasps are known (Burks et al., 2005).
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- Burks, R.A. Gibson, G.A.P. and La Salle, J. (2005). Nomenclatural changes in Neotropical Eulophidae, Eupelmidae and Torymidae (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea) relating to parasitoids of Cecidoses eremita (Lepidoptera: Cecidosidae). Zootaxa, 1082: 45-55.pdf.
- Davis, D.R. (1999). The Monotrysian Heteroneura. Ch. 6, pp. 65–90 in Kristensen, N.P. (Ed.). Lepidoptera, Moths and Butterflies. Volume 1: Evolution, Systematics, and Biogeography. Handbuch der Zoologie. Eine Naturgeschichte der Stämme des Tierreiches / Handbook of Zoology. A Natural History of the phyla of the Animal Kingdom. Band / Volume IV Arthropoda: Insecta Teilband / Part 35: 491 pp. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, New York.
- Hoare, R.J.B. and Dugdale, J.S. (2003). Description of the New Zealand incurvarioid Xanadoses nielseni, gen. nov., sp. nov. and placement in Cecidosidae (Lepidoptera). Invertebrate Systematics, 17(1): 47-57.
- Parra, L.E. (1998). A redescription of Cecidoses argentinana (Cecidosidae) and its early stages, with comments on its taxonomic position. Nota Lepidopterologica, 21(3): 206-214.